Vertebral Fracture Risk Due to Cancer Background

Injectable bone substitutes are promising in their minimally invasive application. Effective deployment of injectable bone substitutes depends upon accurate prediction of fracture risk in the affected bone, and development of improved materials requires the postoperative assessment of resulting enhanced bone strength and stiffness.

Our objective is to use quantitative computed tomography (QCT) in conjunction with analytic techniques to predict fracture risk in cancer patients with metastatic disease to the spine. We expect this approach will facilitate patient management and utilization of reliable guidelines for selecting among various treatment option based on fracture risk.

Specific Aims

The BIR will develop a spinal surgery assessment planning program that will incorporate predictive fracture risk assessment of vertebrae with lytic defects. The program will incorporate methods for assessing the post treatment strength and stiffness of the reconstructed vertebra.

Specific program features include:

  • Automated calibration to bone mineral density phantoms.
  • Simple isolation of individual vertebrae.
  • Automated multiplane composite-beam estimation of compressive and bending strength.
  • Automated registration to baseline scan for followup evaluations.